The University of Stirling men’s first team bowed out of the South Challenge Cup to Johnstone Burgh at Keanie Park.
Kieran Brophy’s brace in the opening 15 minutes set up a great defensive performance for the home side who sit two divisions behind Stirling Uni.
Head coach Chris Geddes said: “Poor 15 minutes at the start, two goals, two really good goals for Johnstone Burgh, we defended them poorly, but good goals from them.”
“And then I think for 75 minutes we dominated, without causing the goal too many problems.”
“A lot of shots at goal but over the bar, wide, right at the goalie so really disappointed with that but listen, fair play to Johnstone Burgh.”
“They defended really well. defended their box, midfield, forwards worked tirelessly. So, fair play to them and good luck to them in the next round.”
Right from the first whistle, Johnstone Burgh looked the more threatening.
Ryan Wallace’s cross found Brophy with space in the box after only three minutes, firing a speculative volley just over the bar.
The Burgh striker got a second chance a couple of minutes later after being played through.
His first-time shot didn’t trouble the Uni keeper, but warning signs were certainly showing.
And sure enough, the students were made to pay a minute later. A wicked cross flew in from the right flank finding Brophy’s head.
Gromov Godik was rooted to the spot as the ball nestled into the net.
With little time to respond, the Uni conceded a second. Failing to stay close to Brophy, a long through ball from midfielder Dale Simeon sent the striker clean through.
His delicate chip sailed over the onrushing Gromov Godik and into the goal.
With a strong two-goal advantage, Burgh was happy to sit back and soak up the Uni pressure.
In-form striker Cammy McKinley looked the most likely for the visitors, going close from two free kicks at the half-hour mark, and having one drilled effort saved while hitting another wide just before half-time.
Uni struggle to create chances
Burgh burst out for the second half eager to kill the game with a third goal despite their already cushioned lead.
Brophy continued to be a handful for the Stirling defence. Gromov Godik did well to save his shot early in the second half.
That early pressure soon dissolved, and it was all Stirling as they pushed for a way back into the game.
The biggest chance in the game for Stirling came just after the hour mark. Substitute Ben Woloszyn cannoned a volley off the post.
McKinley pursued the rebound and was seemingly hacked down, but the referee waved away the protests.
Stirling was almost caught out after possession was lost on the halfway line. Brophy’s hat trick was beckoning but Gromov Godik made a superb save to keep the deficit at two.
After that, the game petered out. A disappointing afternoon for the students.
Next up for the Uni is a midweek BUCS game against Heriot-Watt University. Then, a game on the weekend away to in-form Hearts B.
University of Stirling: Gromov Godik, Lavery, Jeanes, Aslanoglu, Morris (Woloszyn 56), Malcolm (McAninch 56), Scally, Docherty, McKinley (Manomey 65), Mirzasalimov (Maciver-Redwood 56), Stokes (Torregiani 73)
Featured Image Credit: Johnstone Burgh X